Friday, 21 July 2017

Finding Your Ancestors in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador

This series is a bit of a reach for me, as my own family history does not particularly cover each and every province in Canada. In my teens our family did visit both Quebec and Newfoundland briefly. We visited the Quebec Parliament where I attempted to interpret the debates using my high school French. The Plains of Abraham and La Citadelle were fascinating, as well as Chateau Frontenac. In Newfoundland, we went to Cabot Tower where we imagined we could see the coast of England. We toured a lobster fishery and ended our visit with friends in Foxtrap. 

Provided is an attempt at some basic information about genealogy in these two provinces. Again, I don't profess to being an expert in these provinces, but please do explore! Settle in for a good read, 'cos there's a lot of detail!

Quebec
Chateau Frontenac
Credit: CCO public domain https://pixabay.com/en/frontenac

Although most official records for Quebec are in French, you will find English is well represented. To give a perspective of space for our European genealogy colleagues: the distance between Montreal and Toronto is 542 km or 336 miles. The province is predominantly French speaking. Message to new genealogists researching their ancestors in Quebec: although the ship manifest may state Montreal or Quebec as a destination, your ancestor may have settled there initially but moved into Ontario or points westward. As well, it is worthwhile to use the term 'French-Canadian' in your online research arsenal.

Brief History
The first recorded explorer in Quebec is Jacques Cartier. After his arrival in 1535 he visited an Iroquoian villiage called Hochelaga. This is now the site of  the city of Montreal. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain was instrumental in the founding of 'New France' which was later known as Lower Canada. This entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia provides quite a lot of history and overall facts about the province.

Mothers of New France (Quebec) :  Filles du Roi - women sent to the New World in 1663 by King Louis XIV of France to ensure that the population increased and to secure his claim to the new land. Canadian Museum of History Fille du Roi. Millions of descendants in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide can claim their lineage from these 770 women!

For Genealogists
This page from the PRDH Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH, Research Programme in Historical Demography) at the Université de Montréal  gives a background on the emigration of people from France and outlines family names of first settlers - in the province. The PRDH does have a searchable database - requires registration and eventually a credit card.

These free websites should be your first stopping ground for Quebec genealogy. Cangenealogy Quebec is Dave Obee's site. Library & Archives Canada Quebec is the Government of Canada's Genealogy page for Quebec. Family Search - Quebec. Also Olive Tree Genealogy is a great list of resources for Quebec Genealogy (TIP: Ctrl and + keys for larger text).

Your next stop - the family history society website Quebec Family History Society

as well as the Libraries and Archives in Quebec. BAnQ - Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (Library, Archive & Museum), Libraries Association of Quebec; L’Association des archivistes du Québec (AAQ)  - en français.

The Genealogical Site of French America - this site allows  you to search so many different types of data. In order to conduct searches, you will need to register with a username and password. It is a very large and powerful site, and eventually will need to provide payment. 

Acadian and French Canadian Ancestral Home  Acadian genealogy is described as the research of families who are descended from French citizens in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI.  Best links for Acadian research.  Irish Ancestors in Quebec City - provides links to a number of resources and databases - Catholic records   Grosse Isle and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site

Quebec E-Resources

Print Resources (only a few)

Books and Resources to purchase for Quebec genealogy

King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: the Filles du Roi, 1663 -1673 Gagné, Peter J. Pawtucket R.I.: Quintin Publications

Les Passengers Du Saint-Andre. Montreal: Societe Genealogique Canadienne-Francaise, No. 5. 1964.

Montreal Directory 1868-69: containing an Alphabetical Directory of the Citizens and a Street Directory. Lovell, John. Milton, Ontario: Global Heritage Press, 2000.

French-Canadian Sources: A Guide for Genealogists by Patricia Keeney Geyh, Joyce Soltis Banachowski, Linda Boyea.

Quebec Genealogists' Blogs or articles about Quebec
Seminaire de Quebec

Researchers Located in Quebec 

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland is a beautiful piece of Canada.  Fondly called 'The Rock', it's geographic makeup is predominately rock, rock and more rock.  Also, Labrador is a separate land mass to Newfoundland, but the two are recognized as 'one' province.
© credit: DHurt
Distance between St. John's and Toronto by air 1311 miles, 2109 km.
3087 km. by car - may also include a ferry ride :)

Brief History
Incorporated as a province of Canada in March 1949. Previously they were a self-governing dominion. St. John's is the capital city, not to be confused with St. John in the province of New Brunswick. A comprehensive history of Newfoundland.  Many families emigrated from Poole, Dorset to Newfoundland in the 1700s and 1800s and it all has to do with cod. Please see the end of this page for the links to the articles I wrote about my visit to Poole. 

For Genealogists
These free websites should be your first stopping ground for Newfoundland and Labrador genealogy. Cangenealogy Newfoundland is a website created by Dave Obee with genealogy links to explore.  Library & Archives Canada - Newfoundland is the Government of Canada's Genealogy page for Newfoundland and Labrador.  Family Search Newfoundland and Labrador is the Family Search wiki. Olive Tree Genealogy Newfoundland page (TIP: Ctrl and + keys for larger text.)  Next stop - the Libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador  ;  Links to Genealogy on the Memorial University Library page. 

Bay St. George Genealogy Society St. George's Bay, Baie St-George on the west coast of Newfoundland, one of the largest bays in Newfoundland

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the active Families & Surnames Forum 

Newfoundland Public Library Genealogy Guide and Awesome! Newfoundland Public Library Postcard collection of scenes around Newfoundland, 19th and early 20th century. They are arranged thematically or an index is available onsite in the library. Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association - search for libraries in the province.

Maritime History Archive, in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial University in St. John's. This archive holds many unique records, especially maritime related: Crew Lists for UK registered ships; the term 'fisheries' found 793 records in their Photo Collection; Resettlement Photo Collection.

Newfoundland Grand Banks - Genealogical and historical data for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great War  - provided by the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University

The Rooms : Archives, Art and Museum - there is a genealogy section on their website under Collections and Research. The collections cover Sport, Died in Service, Still Images, Government Archives, Manuscripts, Cartographic, Architectural Archives and Museum Notes.  

Newfoundland and Labrador E-Resources:

A database of surnames from Newfoundland Newspapers - described on the Maritime History Archive website: 'The surnames in these pages are taken from the Births, Deaths and Marriages in Newfoundland Newspapers, 1810 - 1890 CD which contains more than 40,000 entries for births, deaths and marriages transcribed from 43 Newfoundland newspapers published between 1810 and 1890.'

Newfoundland War Brides created by Jackie Sheppard Alcock - truly a labour of love! Over 600 war brides are listed on these pages.

Old Gander Genealogical Project - Robert Pelley, originally from Gander, Newfoundland, now lives in Quebec, invites former residents to get in touch to share stories.

David Pike Family History -  PIKE family from: Bonavista Bay, Trinity Bay, Conception Bay as well as Somerset and Devon, UK. I have to say I haven't seen a website built purely for family history purposes and so chock full of stuff in a long time! Very basic design and reminds me of early websites built purely on html. Really could be registered as a GOONS effort! It is updated regularly. Well done David!

Stone Pics - the aim of this group is to photograph and index page every cemetery, headstone, and monument in Newfoundland. Last updated 2012

Stone Pics Czech Republic - the main Stone Pics group are also keen to photograph and index cemeteries in the Czech Republic. Last updated 2014

A connection between Poole, Dorset and Newfoundland. 

Print Resources (to get you started)
Library & Archives Canada Catalogue

- Family names of the island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary
- Officers and men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1795-1802 & Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry, 1803-1816 by Rodney T. Lee
- A long way from Tipperary : a Halley family history, 1600-2000 by Irene Collins
- Finding your ancestors in Newfoundland & Labrador by Bill Crant (Heritage Productions)

Newfoundland and Labrador Genealogists' Blogs

Search for Newfoundland family names on Rootsweb

https://noelhistory.wordpress.com/ - mentions Noel or Newell family connections in the UK. Check the Links page for research about Newfoundland as well as DNA research in Newfoundland.

This blog is particularly about: Buttery, Kettle, Lomond, Nebucett and Scott family names


Researchers Located in Newfoundland and Labrador

My research on various pages did not result in specific people researching in Newfoundland or offering only research in Newfoundland or based in Newfoundland. I would suggest checking out the Nfld-Labrador mailing list on Rootsweb and / or contacting the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador as a starting point. 

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